Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874 to a prosperous family, Tillinghast distinguished himself as an amateur golfer. Not formally trained, he laid out his first golf course in 1909 at Shawnee-On-The-Delaware, Pennsylvania. He preferred to plan courses onsite, directing the grading and placement of holes with his innate sense of design. A founder of the Professional Golf Association of America (PGA), Tillinghast worked exclusively in the United States; several of his courses achieved acclaim as some of the best in the country. He is credited with designing seventy courses, including the Marble Island Golf & Yacht Club in Chittenden County, Vermont; Brook Hollow in Texas: Winged Foot’s East and West courses in Mamaroneck, New York; Baltusrol’s Upper and Lower courses in Springfield, New Jersey; and the San Francisco Golf Club. Tillinghast collaborated with landscape architects, including A.D. Taylor and Charles W. Leavitt, on many of his designs. The Great Depression and poor business decisions stifled his design business in the 1930s, but he found work recommending improvements to existing courses for the PGA and for the Works Projects Administration, designing the course at Bethpage Black State Park, among others. He also wrote articles for The American Golfer and Golf Illustrated and for a brief time was the editor of Golf Illustrated.